Before the recession rocked the country, a family of in Orange County in California believed that they had achieved all. The Sadowski’s lived in a 4-bedroom house in a cul-de-sac. The family had a gas fire pit, an outdoor kitchen and a pool that was lined with boulders that they had craned as they did not prefer the artificial stones. For their sons’ birthday, they had a big celebration with the neighbors and the family. The family also saved money for emergencies: with the father earning around $160,000 annually, he managed to store away savings of about $80,000. They also had a health cover and they put down 20% during the purchase of their home.

Family fightsHowever, in 2007, Tim Sadowski’s business for interior construction began losing its customers and that is when the truth knocked: they might lose their house. The mother, Krichelle Sadowski said that they did not want to lose the home as they love it plus the neighborhood. She added that her kids have been to the same school for their whole life. The Sadowski family was not an irregularity. In fact, friends concurred that they were part of a group of people who are on the edge of losing their homes.  In the period between 2007 and the start of 2010, foreclosures totaling 6.6 million were initiated and even though the recession has come to an end, over 1 million families in the United States are struggling to save their homes.

The Sadowskis were proud because of their achievements and they were living the American dream. Even though they had been raised without much money and had not graduated from college, they achieved success financially. They had refinanced their mortgage severally, sometimes taking over one hundred thousand for the improvement of the house. They always viewed this as an investment, and indeed it was: their house nearly tripled in value. Tim Sadowski said that he bought motorcycles for their sons and they would go the desert regularly as a family. He added that this was his enjoyment.

Tim said that a financial analyst would most likely have said that they were irresponsible but their friends told them that they were just part of the crowd. As the family’s business withered, Tim applied for over 100 jobs. During this period, the family used up all their savings which forced Krichelle to start working part time at the school her son goes as a launch aide. Their cars, an RV and Mercedes, were repossessed and when Tim finally closed down the business, the family lost the health cover.

While explaining how people think in such situations, Jacob Hacker, a professor at Yale, said that when a home goes into foreclosure, the credit rating is ruined and most people do not imagine they will be able to get another house. He added that most do not deny it but are just hoping they can work it out somehow. However, hopes started fading for them as they began fighting over finances. Krichelle stopped wearing her ring and she threatened to divorce. At the end of the day, the family the two battles: that of their house and their marriage. Now they are no longer living the American dream.